Nathan Cleverly Stops Karo Murat In Thriller - Murat Not Allowed Out For 10th-Round

By James Slater: Tonight in Birmingham, on the magnificent “Magnificent Seven” show, unbeaten light-heavyweight star Nathan Cleverly won a hard-fought 10th-round TKO over the also unbeaten Karo Murat in a final eliminator for the WBO 175-pound title.

After a sensational action battle, Iraq-born, German-based Murat was forced to retire by the doctor, who refused to allow the visiting fighter out for round ten. Now 20-0(10), Welshman Cleverly scored the biggest, and also hardest-to-win, victory of his pro career. Murat, who gave his all tonight, is now 22-1(13).

A possible candidate for Fight of The Year, tonight’s elimination battle was compulsive viewing right from the opening bell. Cleverly came straight out at the first bell, and the war was on. 23-year-old Cleverly, who has already won the British, Commonwealth and European titles, was throwing a ton of shots, to both head and body. Murat, with his customary high-held guard, looked much the slower, less active fighter - for now at least..

There was more body work by the Welshman in the 2nd, while Murat threw a tasty uppercut whilst on the inside. The fight, as well as Murat, was warming up now! Cleverly was landing more shots to both head and body, and he also got home with a right uppercut to his rival’s chin. Murat fired back and was willing to rumble, but the younger man’s sheer workrate made it look like Murat might be overwhelmed.

In the 3rd, the good variety of Cleverly continued, and Murat covered up once more. Murat did score with a right hand to the head of his own, however, and he showed he was still dangerous. Cleverly came right back at the bell!

“Clev” landed another right uppercut to the chin in the 4th, along with yet more body work. Nathan really was tattooing Murat now, but the German-based warrior was hanging tough - also firing back with his own shots. There was a good exchange at the end of the round, and Cleverly also hit Murat with a shot on the break - which caused the 27-year-old to hold his ear and complain; bringing boos from the huge crowd. This had been a very close round.

In the 5th Cleverly pushed Murat back, but Karo got home with a left hook. Murat’s gumshield came out and there was a brief time-out. Then the trading resumed and the action was great to watch. But was Cleverly being too reckless, taking chances where he never had to on the inside? Either way, the mid-ring fireworks were quite sensational.

Cleverly hurt Murat at the start of the 6th and went for the finish - blasting away with shots to body and head. Murat came roaring back, though, and at one point the Welshman dropped his hands and made a face in sheer defiance. By this point it occurred to me that I was maybe watching this year’s best action fight so far! Both guys were feeling the pace now, and why not?

Cleverly again stunned his man in the 7th, but once again Murat fired back. The action was intense, and the fight was intense. This session was another close one.

In the 8th, Cleverly went to work with both fists, as he seemed determined to take his man out. Murat suffered a cut to the bridge of his nose and he was starting to look weary. Then it was Murat’s turn to land a shot on the break, with him getting a warning from referee Mark Nelson. The U.S ref also made it clear that the cut Murat had suffered was from an accidental head clash. Then the war continued and a right uppercut got home from Cleverly, but Murat’s strong chin held firm.

A big right hand to the head hurt Murat in the 9th, but again he took the shot well. Cleverly’s workrate was still impressive, despite the fact that fatigue was setting in. The Welshman really does have great fitness and stamina.

There was a lot of activity in Murat’s corner between the 9th and 10th-rounds, with the doctor giving him a close look. Then, with the bell going for the 10th, the Iraqi warrior was pulled out by the doctor. Murat wanted to go on, but he had taken enough.

Now in line for a shot at WBO light-heavy king Juergen Braehmer, Cleverly, based on tonight’s showing, has to be given an excellent chance of winning.

Other action on the card:

Lukas Konecny TKO 6 Matthew Hall
James DeGale TKO 1 Carl Dilks

Article posted on 19.09.2010

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